Paul M. Holmes
Rob Simmons
and David J. Berri

Michael Lewis’s best-selling book, Moneyball, demonstrated the efforts of Oakland A’s General Manager, Billy Beane, to create a successful baseball team in spite of its location in a small market. Previous studies have argued that the salary returns to the neglected skill of on base percentage (OBP) should rise once the Oakland A’s hitters demonstrated proficiency with this skill. Our key result is that after Moneyball was published in 2003, hitter salaries for free agents signing new contracts were not more closely related to OBP. Consistent with efficiency, we find no long-term...Read more

Rodney J. Paul
Andrew P. Weinbach

The last hour of betting for the wagering market in the National Football League (NFL) was examined. In a sample of offshore sportsbooks, nearly a quarter of all bets on NFL games occured in the last hour before kickoff. Bets were shown not to be balanced between each side of the betting proposition. When the betting percentage on the favorite increases in the last hour of betting, there is a simple strategy that has shown to earn statistically significant profits: betting against the public by wagering on the underdog. Unlike horse racing, in which informed bettors are assumed to wager...Read more

Rodney J. Paul
Andrew P. Weinbach

The National Basketball Association (NBA) and National Hockey League (NHL) are studied to ascertain the determinants of betting volume on an individual game-to-game basis. Actual betting volume was obtained and aggregated across three on-line sportsbooks for the 2008-09 season. Independent variables such as the quality of teams, television coverage by network, day of the week, time of day, month of the season, etc. are included in a regression model to determine the factors that influence betting volume. The results reveal betting behavior is much like fan behavior as key fan-attributes,...Read more

Rodney J. Paul
Andrew P. Weinbach

Levitt (2004) suggested that sportsbooks do not set prices in the NFL to clear markets, as was commonly assumed, but set prices to maximize profits. This paper uses actual betting data from four sportsbooks to test the Levitt (2004) hypothesis in the NBA. For a sample of the 2004-05 to 2006-07 seasons, it is shown that favorites receive a disproportionate share of NBA pointspread bets. In addition, the percentage of bets the favorite receives increases with each additional point of the pointspread. In the totals market, it is shown that overs receive a much higher percentage of bets...Read more